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June 22, 2011

Europe’s E. coli outbreak – as it happens

Europe's E. coli outbreak, one of the largest the world has seen, has killed dozens and sickened thousands. The continent's fresh produce sector has been hit hard, with mis-information hitting consumer demand and sales. just-food has followed the major developments in the crisis.

Europe’s E. coli outbreak, one of the largest the world has seen, has killed dozens and sickened thousands. The continent’s fresh produce sector has been hit hard, with mis-information hitting consumer demand and sales. just-food has followed the major developments in the crisis.

22 June – RUSSIA: Food safety watchdog lifts ban on EU produce
Russia has agreed to lift bans on fresh produce from the European Union following an outbreak of E. coli.

22 June 2011 – EU: Farmers seek further compensation following E. coli outbreak
European farmers federation Copa-Cogeca has supported MEP’s calls for greater funds to support producers following the E. coli outbreak in Europe.

16 June 2011RUSSIA: Talks to lift ban on EU fresh produce continue
The European Commission has confirmed that Russia has not yet lifted its ban on fruit and vegetable imports from the EU “in practice” despite President Medvedev agreeing to the move on Friday.

15 June 2011UPDATE: EU: Spanish produce industry rejects E. coli aid package
Spanish produce growers have called on the Spanish government to take legal action against the European Commission over the EUR210m (US$286.8m) aid package designed to provide compensation for Europe’s fresh produce industry.

15 June 2011EU: Member states approve EUR210m E. coli aid package
The European Council of Ministers has approved an improved package that will provide EUR210m (US$286.8m) in emergency aid to Europe’s fresh produce industry, which has seen sales hit in the fall-out from Germany’s E. coli outbreak.

14 June 2011EU: UK demands “full and immediate” compensation from E. coli scare
The UK fresh produce industry has called on The European Commission and German authorities to provide UK businesses hit by the E. coli outbreak with “full and immediate” compensation.

13 June 2011GERMANY: E. coli death toll rises to 35
The number of people killed by the E. coli outbreak in Germany has risen to 35 – although officials have claimed that the number of new cases of illness is showing signs of falling.

10 June 2011 EU: Russia agrees to lift ban on EU vegetable imports
Russia has agreed to lift import bans on produce from the European Union following talks between European Council president Herman Van Rompuy and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev.

10 June 2011 – GERMANY: Authorities affirm link between bean sprouts and E. coli
German authorities suggested today that bean sprouts produced in the country were the source of the deadly E. coli outbreak.

9 June 2011 – EU: Improved E. coli compensation offer fails to win over farmers
European farmers federation Copa-Cogeca has called for more compensation for farmers hit by the E. coli crisis, insisting that the improved proposal from The European Commission is still too low.

9 June 2011EU: Commission improves E. coli rescue package
EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Ciolos has increased a proposed aid package for vegetable producers harmed by Germany’s E. coli outbreak.

8 June 2011EU: Commission E. coli payment offer too low, say farmers
The European Commission’s EUR150m (US$220m) compensation package for farmers hit by the E. coli scandal in Europe is too low, the EU-wide farming union Copa-Cogeca has warned.

7 June 2011EU: Agriculture council rejects EUR150m rescue deal for farmers
The European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development has said he will provide the EU’s Agriculture Council with a revised offer after it rejected an EUR150m (US$220m) compensation package for farmers hit by the E. coli crisis.

7 June 2011BELGIUM: Commission seeks caution on E. coli claims
The European Commissioner for health today (7 June) called on member states not to jump to “premature conclusions” over the source of the E. coli crisis.

6 June 2011UPDATE: GERMANY: Officials cast doubt on bean sprout E. coli link
German health officials have suggested that contaminated bean sprouts may not have caused the E. coli outbreak that has killed more than 20 people across Europe.

6 June 2011 – GERMANY: Bean sprouts suspected as cause of E. coli outbreak
Contaminated bean sprouts are now suspected to have caused the E. coli outbreak that has killed some 22 people across Europe.

3 June 2011 – GERMANY: E. coli strain “super-toxic”, say scientists
Scientists have said that the E. coli serotype that has caused a series of deaths and thousands of illnesses across Europe is a new “super-toxic” E.coli strain resistant to antibiotic treatment.

3 June 2011 – EU: Brussels slams Russia fruit and veg ban
The European Commission has called for an immediate withdrawal of Russia’s ban on fruit and vegetables from the EU following a deadly E.coli outbreak in parts of Europe.

2 June 2011 – GERMANY: WHO says E. coli strain was previously unknown
The World Health Organisation has said that the E. coli bacteria that has caused the outbreak is a new strain. The WHO said the strain is a mutant form of two different E. coli bacteria.

2 June 2011 – RUSSIA: E. coli outbreak prompts Russia to ban EU vegetable imports
Russia has banned the import and sale of all vegetables from the European Union.

1 June 2011 – SPAIN: Madrid hits back over mistaken E. coli accusations
The Spanish government and local trade bodies hit back at the German public health ministry following the confirmation that the country’s cucumbers did not cause the deadly E. coli outbreak. Trade bodies call for the resignation of Hamburg’s heath minister, Cornelia Prüfer-Storcks, for “acting irresponsibly” and seek compensation for the EUR200m (US$288.7m) a week in lost sales.

31 May 2011 – Doubts cast on origin of E. coli outbreak
Germany’s national disease centre confirms it does not know the source of the E.coli outbreak. The strain of E. coli that has caused the 16 deaths and hundreds of cases of illness is now confirmed to be from a different strain to that in the contaminated cucumbers.

Russia bans the import of raw vegetables produced in Germany and Spain, including tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce.

27 May 2011 – Spain suspends the activities of two suspect cucumber distributors
The Spanish Authorities inform the European Commission that it has suspended the activities of the two farms in Almeria and Malaga which have been suspected of distributing the E. coli contaminated cucumbers to Germany.

26 May 2011 – GERMANY: E. coli linked to Spanish cucumbers
The European Commission notifies its member states that organic cucumbers from two locations in Spain are the source of the E. Coli outbreak affecting Germany and four EU countries. The Commission says the outbreak is responsible for two deaths in Germany, with a total number of 214 cases.

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